Tag Archives: Rick Walton

Thursday Hint

What does Wickland Jacqueline’s Lincoln mean?

I’m using voice recognition software because my arm has been hurting a while. I injured myself helping someone here at home. (Rick Walton used Dragon when his Parkinson’s got bad.  Now I am a fan, not because it works really well — it is great– but because my pal used Dragon.)

Anyway

when I said “wiggling and jiggling and slinking” this morning in my wrasseling book, Wickland Jacqueline’s Lincoln came out.

This hint is about revision. Don’t include it in your one hour of writing. I read a little bit of the previous day’s work before I start my next  one hour to get me back into the groove and the voice. But I don’t spend my one hour rewriting. That time is for new words.

A part of you will want to rewrite. I  get it. I want to also. But don’t. Save revision for when we all are done in just a few days.

Unless you have Wickland Jacqueline’s Lincoln. That you can rewrite.

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Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Kyra

Save on Phone Plans: 25%

I’ve lost my phone.

This worries me as I have an appointment with two friends. What if I’m late?

I fought against getting this phone. But year before last when people were messaging all over Waterford trying to find me, and the last time my agent had to listen to Carolina’s weird answering machine, I realized it was time to get a phone of my own.

Where is that darn thing?

#40

What has your main character lost?

How important is it to her?

Does this loss play a necessary part in your story?

Look through your novel. IF this loss is important, in needs to be present. It can’t be forgotten.

When Rick Walton was ill, he was always on my mind. Always. He’s still on my mind quite a lot.

Loss can be anything. Anyone. Keep it age-appropriate, and remember loss for a young child is as important as for an older person, even if the object isn’t as huge as a lost cell phone. 😉

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Filed under Character, CLW, Exercises, Family, Revision, Voice, writing process

Frozen Friday

Just a moment to say what I would have said on Monday if I hadn’t had a daughter in the hospital.

This new year?

I have so many hopes for what’s to come.

Last year was so hard.

We started the year off losing our sweet and amazing Debbie and ended the year losing hilarious and wonderful Rick. Before and after those terrible days, more people we loved left this earth life and moved on. It’s been a long, hard time.

Today, though, I’ve been thinking how I’ve already fallen behind with my goals.

But each day is new, right?

Each day I can stretch and reach and hope.

That’s how I hope to treat each moment in this joyous new year.

Ann Dee, Kyra and I hope you have a perfect 2017. Sure, there’s going to be hard times. But there’s going to be a new moment, a new chance, and always we’ll have the opportunity to write for the love of words and kids and ourselves.

Happy weekend!

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Filed under Ann Dee, CLW, Kyra

HAP-pee New Year!

Yes, I’m late!

As always.

We had an illness in the family that left one of us in the hospital for 6 days and another one of us caring for the sick daughter’s baby for 6 days.

But this is still a New Year! A Yippee, Let’s Go! year. A We Can Do Anything

Each year I write out a million goals. Last year, though, I held back. I made only 70. (I’ve mentioned I’m not one of those gals who feels badly when she fails to reach a destination. I love the way I feel when I set a goal and imagine accomplishing it.) How’s I do? Not so well. It was a tough 366 days.

This year, well, I’m still writing out the things I want to do–but I can safely say I have more hopes and dreams than a human should have. There are house goals, garden goals, personal goals, etc etc.

I found these from 2009:

  1. Read 200 books
  2. Write three novels
  3. Rewrite lost in Peace for St. Martin’s Press
  4. Blog????

And then here were Rick Walton’s goals. Hahahaha! I love him. And miss him.

  1. Read 200 picture books
  2. Pick up three novels
  3. Rewrite *A Million Little Pieces* for St. Martin’s Press
  4. Comment anonymously on Carol’s blog????

It’s been a hard year. A lot of people I love have died. People I’ve loved have lost loved ones.

Here are 3 of my millions of aspirations–just in the writing category!

  1. Finish rewrite with Ann Dee, rewrite for an editor, and draft of mystery before January’s end, and send in for review to Steve.
  2. Write a true NaNoWriMo–meaning, accomplish the 50,000 words. Now, if I am rewriting a novel then, I will set the goal as I did this last year and just do the best I can. (I sent in the partial murder mystery and I’m hoping my editor likes it. I’ll let you know if she bites!)
  3. Write a picture book with my daughter Laura.

 

We know we have at least 3 readers out there. If you’d like, put your goals here. Share as many as you’d like. Unless you’re crazy like I am. Then that means there’s not enough room.

Ann Dee and Kyra? Submit your goals, too. I’ll save them this time.

😉

 

 

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Filed under CLW, Life, Uncategorized

Monday, Dreary Monday

Rick’s funeral was on Saturday.

My friend Rick.

For some time I’ve wondered how I’ll get along without him. Rick of the last 18 months was so sick. It’s selfish for me to want him back. Still.

When I cam home from the funeral, there was a package waiting for me from my publishing house.

One of my daughters wanted to open it, so I let her.

And inside was a letter from the Junior Library Guild saying MESSENGER ‘has been awarded the designation, “A Junior Library Guild Selection” for our fall 2016 span.’ They sent along a lapel pin and a certificate, too.

A lapel pin!

I thought, “Rick. Rick, did you have something to do with this arriving today?”

He and I told each other when we sold books. Sort of casually.

“Oh, I sold a book to Candlewick,” he’d say again. And again. And again.

“Of course,” I’d say. “I’m so proud you.” I’d cheer and tell him he was a genius.

He knew he was a genius. But he loved for me to cheer for him and tell him how wonderful he was. I loved that job. Telling him that I loved him and that he was wonderful.

Ha! Good ol’ Rick.

He was so prolific that he had an average of four books a year all the while we knew each other.

I was going to say this at the funeral but forgot.

Once, early in our friendship, Rick called me and said, “Hey, a bunch of people wanted to see my office. You wanna join everyone?”

Are you kidding? “Sure,” I said. I couldn’t wait for the tour.

All these years later, I remember walking around Rick’s home office. There were piles of books and bookshelves of books and a desk and pens and papers and lists. I thought, “This office looks like my office. There’s nothing that amazing here.”

Years later I realized it was Rick the Genius who made that office rock. He would have written all those books, and published them, had he had to write in a car (he did), at a school (he did), in  writers group (he did), at church (he did), on a walk (he did) on a drive (he did), in the middle of a sentence talking to someone (he did)–you get the picture.

Rick was what was amazing in that office.

He didn’t get to see my latest novel MESSENGER. But I choose to believe Rick will watch over my career now. That will make it easier to go through the days because I will miss him.

I will miss him.

 

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15 Minute Monday

We’re talking about my Dragon software.

Recently I came up with several book ideas I wanted to get done quickly. ( I haven’t done any of that writing yet.  Life.)

So I bought one of those Dragon thingies. You know– the thing that listens to your voice and then writes down whatever you’re saying? Rick Walton used one. It was always hilarious to get his emails. I’m not so sure he went back and reread and reread and reread trying to catch mistakes

Good old Rick. (Now I must admit I haven’t gotten the hang of this thing perfectly. I forget, or have not learned yet, commands that will help me. And Dragon did just write brick instead of Rick. So there.) (Also it tears out my hair when I try to take the microphone off. And I don’t have hair to spare.)

Anyway, this Dragon thing. It works pretty well. I like it.

The problem is with me. I’m not used to talking  out my book ideas.

I’d say  6 % of my writing  I do using the Dragon.

Like this post.

So.

That’s my endorsement. The Dragon thing.  Get one if you have carpal tunnel.

(I don’t have carpal tunnel.)

Suggestions for names? I can’t have a Dragon thing and not have a name for it.

 

Also, yesterday at church, a five-year-old  was asked to identify Peter, James and John  in a poster I held.

“Who is this?” I asked him in front of the entire group of children.

With a huge smile he said, “Penis, James and John.”

 

Oh, I love kids.

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What Matters Most

Have you noticed time streaming, screaming past? Like water through your fingers? Like sand through the hourglass?

Yes, these are the days of our lives.

And once again, I have been reminded how sacred and fragile life is.

A late Sunday night when a child announces a friend is dead.

An email with someone telling me the cancer is back.

A call from a dear friend saying the chemo isn’t working.

Mass shootings.

Mass murders.

Kidnappings.

You know (oh, you know) I could go on.

But this morning, for just a moment, I want to share what my writing life has done for me.

When I mailed that first novel off so many years ago, I had no idea how my world would open up. At the time I had three babies and was so very shy I couldn’t talk to people. (Really.) I’d worked on the novel called Me and Kelly for several years until I’d realized how it needed to end. When it was very nearly ready to be published, I was on bed rest with my 4th pregnancy and I got a phone call from a guy named Rick Walton. He’d heard about me from a writer named Louise Plummer. Did I want to talk about books and writing?

Yes! I did.

Every day, Rick called me. We spoke for a couple of hours. By the time I went to the critique group run  at his home, Rick was my friend. And at that group I got to know several other people who changed my life. Made my life amazing. I wrote books with some of them. Ran the first really successful writing conference in the Provo, UT area with two of them. Became fast friends with nearly all of them.

The other day, after the telephone call from my dear friend, I realized just how far-reaching my writing life has been. I’ve met teachers in other states who’ve become my friends. Other writers from all over the country who have changed who I am. I’ve gone to school in a place hot as hell, watched my writing career completely stop for seven years, lost loved ones, a marriage, hope. I’ve made more and more and more friends, had my heart broken more times than I can count, agonized over family situations, known editors who I’ve known–without a doubt–wanted me to succeed. Who helped me make my books better and better. I’ve gotten letters from adults about my books. From children. Spoken to translators who have lost children. Learned to love people I thought I would never have anything in common with. I’ve run conferences, been to conferences, accepted awards, been passed over for awards, and all along what has mattered most are the people behind it all.

The people.

You.

I am not who I was when I started that lonely process of writing a middle grade novel. I am better because of the people I know and love.

The best part of my life is my religion and my family. But a very close second is my writing world because it has afforded me so much–the friends I would have never met. Those people who have made my life richer. The people who have been my example. Shared experiences. Shared their love. Who have cared for me, no matter what.

How grateful I am for the people I know.

You all have made me better. I am touched to know you. So grateful I do.

 

 

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Filed under CLW, Editors, Family, Life